As it’s that time of year, and as my tree went up at the weekend, I thought I’d share with you how I approach getting the right balance between style and kitsch over the holidays. I was at a client’s place at the weekend and they commented that there must be so much pressure as an interior designer to decorate my home well for Christmas. To be honest I don’t feel that way, I love this time of year and I’m a traditionalist at heart so I’m red, white and green all the way!
Like with any design, it’s all about having a plan, sticking to it and being understated, which is often the hard part at Christmas. Let’s be honest, most of our decorations have got more than a few Christmases under their belt and we’re used to using ALL of them at once!
I always try and start with the primary colours… for example this year I went with red and white (candy cane), although you can argue that it’s also green. So yes, that does mean I have a lot of decorations left over but remember…less is more. And I may use those unused decorations next year, I like to change it up and keep it fresh year on year (typical of most designers I’d say, oh my poor husband).
Of course, not everything is going to be perfect unless you buy new decorations every year. There are a few pieces I’ll always incorporate as they bring back great memories, plus I like to put up my Christmas cards as decorations in themselves, and that’s fine. Trust me, just having that vision will make a huge impact.
If you’re not sure about that vision, here are a few Christmas trends / colour schemes that you might like to use or think about.
- A frosted Christmas – not a very realistic Australian setting but hey…it’s Christmas. And those with kids may want a more classic approach.
Traditional baubles, icicles shapes and frosted decorations are the cornerstone of this theme, and can be used alone for a monotone elegant finish, or blend with champagne and/or soft tones such as mint green or pale blue.
- A blue Christmas – this is actually on trend and looks both contemporary and luxe.
You can go for every shade of blue and use accents of champagne or frosted decorations, as-well-as metallic (gold) and brown tones, creating very strong regal appeal. This isn’t a new idea, typically blues were a popular accent colour mixed with silver and white. However, my twist creates a warmer palette.
- A very metal Christmas – a good style choice for industrial interiors is to continue / play on metallic tones – from platinum, rich gold through to copper/bronze and more pewter/silver.
Gold is of course a very popular Christmas colour, so the inclusion of other tones of browns, bronze, coppers and pewters brings it bang up to date. The other traditional favourite is Champagne or Platinum Gold.
If the neutral palette isn’t enough, add a pop of colour such as burgundy, emerald green or even turquoise. This creates rich style with texture and elegance.
- Kitsch Christmas – the hipster retro / vintage style is very hot and can be translated into a cool Christmas look in mid-century interiors.
Black, red, white and apple/lime green are the colours to create this palette and style-wise, nothing is off the table. But exercise restraint and aim for one period (50s, 60s, 70s) to keep it consistent.
- Candy cane (my inspiration) – red and white is again a strong Christmas colour combination, with bursts of green. To keep it looking fresh I’ve gone for modern takes on traditional decorations I.e. large material holly and snowflakes. I also add metallic’s and natural materials elsewhere to break up this strong look.
- Scandi Xmas – use natural woods, finishes and fabrics to create the perfect look for scandi lovers. Combine the natural colours with light browns, greens and greys, with white, creating Scandinavian simplicity.
Although you can go darker and mingle with the woodland feel, and touches of more traditional reds and greens for warmth.
- Go beyond a tree – think past just the Christmas tree and take your styling to tables, shelves lights etc…it’s about creating a feel throughout the home. Not just the corner where the tree is.
I often take the opportunity to get creative and use branches and “different” decorations.
So, dust off the Michael Bubble, get a glass of wine in your hand and enjoy being creative.
NOTE: Images used under Fair Use, and the above commentary is a personal view and not commercial in nature, and were sourced from a variety of online sources and personal archives.